McEnroe is an enigma. He was certainly one of the greatest tennis players of all time, a joy to watch in his prime for his extraordinary skill. His behavior was abominable sometimes, just plain out-of-line by most standards. Many people have written him off as worthy of no respect for that reason, yet he really was a great player, is now the best male commentator on TV (in my opinion), and a very altruistic person, (he is one of the top charity fund raisers in the tennis world.) If I remember correctly, he was honored as father of the year in his native New York recently.
In this book, he speaks for himself. He doesn't forgive his behavior or suggest it was appropriate, and he does apologize. Yet, it is easier to see his many sides. He talks about being so alone on the tennis court. He loved Davis Cup partly because it was a team sport. I've always thought he was such a strong person, able to take the unpopular stand on things, but reading his own words, he comes across as remarkably insecure and craving approval. The public adulation of being #1 was his motivation more than an innate love of playing tennis. I find that amazing.
I am a tennis player and fan, and I try hard to separate great achievers from their personal beliefs and private lives. This book helped me to understand the man, the person, the little boy, the young adult with extraordinary skills who found himself pulled into a fantastic world where he was supremely successful but lacked the character to achieve greatness in all areas. At least he is open about that. This is his point of view, and he deserves his say. The book is well written, I feel like I just had a nice long conversation with this remarkable person.